Friday, December 23, 2011

Man loves company even if it is only that of a small burning candle. ~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

I was looking at some photos on a friend's Facebook page yesterday.  One that caught my attention was of seven women taken back in the early 1990s...a group of women who've been friends for several decades now.  At that particular time they were especially close...most of their children were good friends as well and they spent a lot of time together.  But what really hit me about the photo was what was written about one of them who passed away this year.  I had always thought she had the world by the tail and lived a happy life.  But someone had written a comment saying, "She was well loved and she didn't know it."

How many of us go thru Life and feel like no one loves us?

Funny how sometimes, even when we're surrounded by others, we can feel so isolated and alone. Is it because we're so afraid of rejection that we're hesitant to reach out? I know for myself that that's what holds me back at times. Or it did when I was younger. As I'm getting older I am so much more comfortable in my own skin. But it's been a long and winding road thru Life to get to this point.

Several years ago  someone I knew quite well died.  I remember one time when she'd come over to have lunch with me at my house and she began to cry and told me she never felt like she had any friends.  It nearly broke my heart.  She was such a giving person, selfless in so many ways.  Whatever task she undertook she put her whole heart in to it.  A brilliant seamstress, she spent untold hours working on costumes for Sunday School projects.  Her artistic abilities were amazing.  And crafty?  She could take nothing and make something beautiful out of it.  I know that she struggled for acceptance amongst her peers and I don't think she ever found it, at least not on the level she so ached to attain.

And yet, when she died very tragically and unexpectedly in the prime of her life, you should have seen the amount of people at her funeral.  Kids she'd taught in Sunday School.  So many people whose lives she'd touched.

Someone came up to me not long after her funeral and remarked on what a beautiful service it had been.  Someone who'd never been particularly kind to my deceased friend.  She said, "You know, she was so well thought of and loved by so many people.  But I'm sure she knew it," and I know she was waiting for me to affirm that yes, this woman had known it.  I stood and looked at this person and didn't say a word.  Which made her very uncomfortable.  Then, a little less sure of herself she said, "She did know she was loved, didn't she?  I'm sure she did."  And again I said nothing.

When I did, I told her, "Actually, no.  She didn't."

And I turned and walked away.


Margaret said...

You handled the situation perfectly, without lying. So many people are self-centered and wrapped up in their own lives;they don't REALLY see or appreciate others. Very sad. I know I'm important to lots of friends and family, but still feel unappreciated at times. Such is life.

Anonymous said...

For some people/situations, there is not much one could say. Seems your response is the only one a person could make.

I often feel not too cared for either...but I always have wanted to know where I stood with others, whatever that was. The main one to please has to be our Heavenly Father however!!

"Abby" said...

That's really sad. I know there are people who feel lonely, but have a hard time admitting it - more people than not, I'm sure.